this book is -- i want to read from the book of course, but i don't want to give away too much because this first chapter is going to describe why i wrote this book so maybe i should read the first chapter and then i will talk about the book and kind of expand what it's about. okay. i'm going to read the first chapter. first chapter is called tainted vegetables and it starts with the little tag line that says i like my town with a little drop of poison. every spring i plant a garden. a small but noble pursuit, small in the sense there are many important items on the calendars of our lives. noble because each step of safety because of sustainability has the food industry and its own game. in my line of work i travel a
lot sometimes to places where food is measured by cups of rice and water is delivered by tenure rules that have to walk 5 miles to get to the well. plants in the garden is a way of keeping the harsh reality of the world at bay. it seems the same practice in the world to help. i grew up on a farm so speaking to a buddy on the pomegranate seems natural to me sometimes more than speaking to my neighbors. peaches and apricots are good listeners, too. i go to them for comfort and i trust the plants and the seeds although invisible create solis as they incubate in the ground. this spring carries a special need for me. my wife is pregnant with our second daughter and our two-year-old is eager to take on the shores helping her data with the daily guard in duties. my plan is to create a large vegetable garden in the backyard area where we have never used. and it's situated between the tall trees for the morning and
afternoon sun shade in the day. after the weeks of digging into braking trusten hardware store in the troup irrigation system my daughter and i spend a sunday morning planting squash, lettuce, filipinos, green peppers, herbs and putting basil, thyme and chives. each morning for weeks thereafter to see how much the garden has grown over night. in the beginning the progress is slow and see the vegetables burst through and begin to more fish. after six weeks of daily attention i collect my first batch and mike koppel each leaf as i watch it in the sink. finally i prepare a salad for dinner. my wife won't eat the lettuce or any other item from the garden. she knows that she is careful with what sheets because the beebee that grows inside of her. i argue the food is as organic as we are we defining and she argues she doesn't trust the dirt and she has a point.
we live in is the arizona a mile above sea level. it is a mining town located 8 miles from the mexican border. the copper mine closed down more than 30 years ago but the effect of the resistance remain. the mark the hillsides and it sustains the cliffs of burnt orange. they are on the horizon and remind us of the elevators the sizes of houses that carried men a thousand feet below the surface. and then there's the ( a large create from the edge of town from the torrential monsoon rains pour off the mountains into the my -- mile long bathtub. i'm going to take my coat off. it's hot up here with fees' life i guess the lights have to be on, don't they? my wife and i met not long after
we've looked your -- mature in 2000 to get away from suburbia. it's the past three decades i realize i have a few steadfast requirements for my quality-of-life. most important wasn't driving the traffic at all. i need to walk out my front door to a good hiking trail to the i like the ability to barbour. but money is short for any vital necessity. in visby i've always been able to trade one of my books for a bottle of wine or all three. money is required but bargaining is accepted. no houses are quite alike. in fact they are spectacularly different reflecting the individual owners that built them more than 100 years ago and the streets are so narrow that driving down then the mayor in work to avoid putting them off and the gas occasionally doubling the railings. and each homeowner must adapt to the nuances of his or her home and no manual exists to help. local plumbers and electricians have to throw the train of the
window because no job in town resembles that of a modern-day house. hang on the second. >> every small town has a certain intangibles to unite its people in the case of visby it is the a4a mentioned a creature on the southern edge of town known as the pit. it sits at the edge of town like cancer this tumor that no one wants to talk about half a mile wide almost a mile long and 950 feet deep it was once to remind us on the turquoise and uranium and silver. but the big money was always copper. by the time of the turn of the machines in 1975, that it produced more than $8 billion in copper. to live here one must accept it is a part of one's life. it defines each residence soft of geography and creeps into the towns daily language. with a local gives directions to a tourist anywhere east or south of town his first words are invariably containing the words once you drive past that if i
drive to the only supermarket in town i passed it. if i get the hardware store a pass that, if i go to the ballpark, mexico, the cafe, the cemetery or any of the towns from schools or to the dump i pass this colin the ground. every single day i might pass it on hundred million times. yet shockingly in the only matter of months living here in the pit doesn't exist as a large hole but only as the black canvas upon which our eyes into the sky and the mountains and sea in this enormous scar in the earth becomes the same as the tree at the end of the block or traffic light on the old barn that everyone views as a local landmark. disney is no ordinary mining town and it's one of the largest copper comes in the united states and the owners of the mine once the political and economic of a force of arizona earned almost every large copper mine in the state. in 2007 they bought the bisbee mining operation and everything else they owned throughout the world for $25 billion including
the lines in africa and chile. people are now in the majority of the north and south of bisbee and the own 2700 miles that run beneath the town. the partial of the mountain of outlying desert sand in town even though they don't own it seems like the only things they don't control are the people in the sky. as a part of the transaction, the assume the obligation to reclaim all of the polluted soil in the bisbee neighborhoods. by 2008, they began a program that means they are testing every household in bisbee. to check for the contaminants. i applied to check our soil, which they did, but i was months ago. a team of geologists, economists walk to the perimeter of the house with a debt of 2 feet. no one with every answer my questions other than the state now would be ready in several
weeks. months passed. so i assumed our soil was fine. meanwhile spring wheats for no one and i want to grow food and teach my daughter the responsibility. the first to lead a salad from the yard my wife eight something else. as much as my daughter likes gardening, she doesn't like salad or anything remotely resembling a vegetable. she opts for macaroni and cheese. the salad tastes delicious but knowing it came from our backyard makes it even more scrumptious. i do this daily, sometimes twice daily for two weeks to reach time feeling great pride in my effort as a gardener. one night i had a nagging headache that intensified the following night. my stomach feels nauseous. i tell myself the headache and the maza are the result of a bug going around town. one night a week with a different sensation altogether. i have to nigeria and severe cramping in my stomach. crawling into the toilet and throw up again and again.
i'm nervous thinking i have a serious illness and my mind goes where so many gough, medical insurance, which i don't have. the cycle of the physical sickness and english goes on for another week and i stopped eating anything other than the basic staples. after several more days i am able to walk and eat once again. i forgot all about the garden and i don't even care that excess -- it exists. i walked the post office to pick up my mail. i dig through the bills and there is a letter. i read the letter a few times before its meaning registers. my front yard has 564 parts per million of lead, 32% higher than the acceptable levels in my backyard were lettuce, peppers and spring onions were flourishing at this very moment the soil has levels of 79.3 million or more than 100% higher than the acceptable levels for residential oil. how they are sick and lead got into my yard isn't a mystery.
several large smelters towering the chimney stacks with smoke and heavy metal used to excess a quarter mile to dominate every view in bisbee. i have read stories from the early 1900's when the newcomers visited for the first time and might and reported haunting feelings of internal landscape of health. the fluent the might with the smoke and campfires paul given a feeling of the inferno. the copper mines opened to 1881 and the final one closed in 1975. 25 years before i set foot in town. it was dismantled in 1908. more than 100 years ago. the result of an management not wanting to live in the same town as a poisonous small tree and affect the company had struck almost every single tree from the surrounding mountains to keep the smelter burning 24 hours a day. it took several decades for the trees to come back, yet to this day the arsenic and the lead levels in the top soil remain
topic to be toxic. 100 years of wind, snow and rain since then come a century of the nature pounding the earth to grow over and eroded, and still the place in remains. it is ironic how the copper is in the soil but they make sense it would have been extracted in the process leading the arsenic and particles in the wind and sun along the surrounding yards. but it's not the only cause of the poison. bisbee is transacted transacted with homes on both sides. the media homes perched on the hillsides have anywhere from ten to 100 steps to the front door. in an effort to create local foundations for the more upscale homes the killed two birds with one stone by leveling them with the mind based called tailings files. the company hold of the dirt still thick with heavy metals and used to extract and truck
throughout the neighborhoods in the town. the foundation of many homes including my own are actually built upon the waste from several decades ago. so in fact they didn't have a bug that was going around town. according to the government guidelines are senate enters through the airborne dust it is in the intestines and nerve injury and possibly liver damage. for several weeks i had been digging on my hands and preparing the soil for a garden. often i did this leisurely work with my daughter and eight officials for weeks and my mind is a buzz with the realization how little i know about this history of where i live. i take a moment to be grateful for two things. that might prevent wife didn't trust the dirt and my daughter doesn't like salad. both are fine but i am not. the plays and stirred something inside of me both as a parent and as a resident. i have become a student again.
during the day i scoured the library for books and light of our charts, documents, anything to understand the correlation between mica backyard. i feel i have been blindsided. when debating whether to live i kept reminding myself there was only a town but then i convinced myself a long time ago that was a long time ago and not today. of course i know that isn't true but i want it to be. i was focused on the new and vibrant community that thrives here to live in a quiet neighborhood at the little town in the county one of the most conservative counties in arizona this is the place where they gather to have played its with one another sitting in the fall out chairs along the border playing share if this is where politicians from washington come to talk tough about the border keeping america safe. they don't actually come here with a circle the helicopters and then drive to the ranch areas feeding on the summer in their role county. one day they build taller fence and hire more agents and make it impossible to drive north without going to the border
patrol agent check ports with dogs. nothing stops the flow of cubans going north. for years i walked mountains, the mountains and have taken note of your and try to differentiate between the mountain lion skat and the wildcat mines along the trail with a detailed and drilling down the hill. i think of all of the souls that what the mountains at night and the ones that scratched the hole in the mountain hoping to make small fortunes. some did but most did not and most of them died early. all this heavy-metal might be easier to forget if i hadn't heard heard the rumors that they would reopen the mine which would effectively alter the economic and cultural landscape of the town. this makes me realize i have a lot to learn about how the mining companies attacked the town and surplus proximity to their operations. one afternoon as we stand on the back porch my wife and i talk about the long-term. we were wondering if raising our kids in this town is a good idea
and even of the mind doesn't reopen the next few years there is no guarantee that it will open fight for ten years. either way it feels like a clock hanging over our lives and i am afraid the sound will only get louder as the time passes. i stared out at my arsenic least garden glistening in the afternoon sun. so much work lost to the talks and i can't see, taste or smell. suddenly i began to ask a series of questions first and foremost what would be the effect of the modern-day mind on the surrounding community and land? the mining operation is relatively small by today's standards and looks like a fishing hole compared to today's mines. it would be larger and used far more land and create much more waste. even though we on our house here deeply entrenched in the local life we still want to live at bisbee at the mine reopens. it's a question my wife and i have asked each other before but never with a sense of urgency. now we feel as parents we must
find an answer soon. still when bringing in that neither of us have an answer as if we are playing a game of chicken seeing who the first to declare to walk away from our friends, community, garden and home. that's the first chapter. so you get the idea because i got sick from my yard which really didn't help me learn anything except that i need to learn a lot. succumb it basically what happens for the next three years i discover what is active as opposed to inactive and to live in a town that wasn't my time and has a lot of things in the soil. you know arsenic or lead you don't know it is there. it isn't something that you see or smell. as of today the companies spend
over $65 million during almost every single yard because they are all please send. and parks and schoolyards and everything else, so it's been a good job. so that is what led me to do this book is what happened to my own yard and coupled with that is the fact that i was a commercial fishermen in alaska for many years and i knew about a big - in alaska the was trying to get put in place called pebble , and as a fisherman and a person aware of our conservation and needing to save the fishery from the mine i was very against it but i didn't know why in terms of details. so i also wanted to learn about that. and this book really took me to alaska not as a fisherman but as a person come as a writer to learn about that in a deep way and i was very lucky.
i got to -- i don't know how this ever comes to be but i found myself on the helicopter with the ceo of the company and seven lobbyists. now, this is a bit like being in the room when he's talking about 47% meaning the talk is all the honest in those situations. so they were talking very openly there were so involved with each other we all had these headphones on and we could hear the conversations i was kind of amazed they were let loose it was very revealing to me how they really think about the earth and it reveals that doesn't agree with them basically.
i want to read one more thing it's related to this but i just told you about pebble nine. it takes about four chapters in the book and there is a good reason for that. it's kind of the i believe it is the pride in this country, the prime conservation fight, and it's coming to the head of very soon probably before the end of the year. the epa is studying this mine and they're probably going to turn it down. and because of the fishery this is 50 million every year that are coming in that we don't have to do anything but besides not screw it up and basically the study says if there isn't one accident, not one thing goes wrong and in all of my travels i've never found a mine that didn't have an accident. these are big operations. no one is trying to have an accident it just happens. if they said nothing happens if
it is run perfect it will destroy the fishery. that is pretty much like the end of the report to read the reports are 2,000 pages but that's all they need to know. anyway, want to read this chapter because it is a really tiny piece and there is a little village. this is very remote territory and there is a little village was really extraordinary. a very remote and they're some characters that live there and i just want to read it because it gives you a sense of what is going on in this battle. >> [inaudible] >> it's not working? should i do something? like that? okay. is that better? is that better? okay. and bring to set this up. this is very remote. the mine would be 14 miles and i
am about to leave. but before i leave and went to gil troy to this village. before flying out on a drive down the only road that leaves the village it leaves the river 13 miles and then ends. the direction of the river don't take any side roads until we find ourselves at the edge of the water. across the river i see them and at the village of 300 people with the deep-seeded like minded proposal to partner with several other cars all empty and pointed towards the river. one vehicle has the marking of a state trooper. i look around expecting someone to pop out of the bushes but there is no one there. here the river is a mile wide with a bluish green color from the deposits. there are a few houses on this side of the river and a few homes visible on the other bank. but not one in sight. i wait for a few minutes and take in the rush of the water and steer the surrounding mountains and then as instructed i yell at top of my lungs.
the only way to access is to bring the boat or to arrive the side of the river and whistled, and yell or scream until someone sees you and taxes the boat. the river itself is only 25 miles long beginning at six mile lake and the south. for local teenagers with cars it is the only place to drive and then like me they have to wait for someone to come get them in a boat. as far as we know, the amazon is the last place where there may exist if you tribes of people that have yet to make contact. lost in the hidden world of the jungle. this may be true but when i travel to the place like this in the surrounding landscape i wonder if there is any place as remote as this. they are walking on the road where no one is watching a thousand years if that. i am horse after a few minutes dealing both foolish and rude to be yelling in such immense quite. no one comes for the first hour. then the vote appears on the river making its way towards my
side. the skeptics say soft landing either the native taking his son out for an afternoon cruise on the river says hello. i ask if i can catch a ride back to his town. well, that all depends, now doesn't it, he said, his eye is hiding behind his sunglasses with his voice with a town of ander and sarcasm. was lighter you want what does he asked playfully but not quite. i tell them i'm talking to everyone about pebble. why didn't think you were here for a vacation. are you for or against pavel? i'm very against it but also very open to hear all sides. sure enough, he says as we push off on the shore. if there is a bedrock of resistance against the mine is the villages like john dalton which all of the surrounding the alleges of perhaps the most unified and vocal against the am i and it makes sense. it's the subornation to the mine site because it has airport lodges the non-dalton would be
the closest to the mind. the villages of fielder contract without many of the benefits. sure a few locals would be hired to drive some trucks and to do various custodial jobs for $20 an hour but overall there isn't much for the village to gain. for the alleged that exists almost entirely on the subsistence hunting and gathering and fishing to survive, it offers nothing of value. after a quick ride the river and a circle back towards the shore the same sure i just left i realize he has no intention of taking me to this village. i can't take you there today, he says. but he notices the truck that i drove to the river's edge. his truck i say. i don't mind him so much, he says, but the ury family very powerful, they are a part of the mine development. but in general they are bastards that end up killing each other, and they are my goddamn cousins. apply it goes on to explain he quit drinking five years ago and
the simple act that gained lots of enemies in town but not drinking and others that do drink think that he is judging them. i don't give a shit what they do to i asked if he would take a job at pebble if it were built. listen, i have friends that have jobs doing stuff and that's fine. his son has a camp across the river. he's a good person that works for the mine but lives here just trying to make a dollar real live. i hate when they come from anchorage or vancouver or wherever and they want to come here and bullshit about how good it's going to be. i know they are moving away because the drilling and the fish will buy the first mistake they make. i don't need a draft to tell me how it is all going to work because these kind of projects never work anywhere in the world. they make people money and they don't satisfy the locals. the locals live a life that most would find difficult if not impossible. the isolation, the reliance on the native skills to hunt and provide for their families and the lack of medical help.
he has had nine children, four of them died. one from sids, dwarfism, meningitis and the last one in an accident while a cousin was driving. when it comes to his thoughts on the outsiders who work at the mine, he tells the story of his aunt who has a fish camp next to his on the river and she married a guy that works for the mine. one summer day the husband brought out some employees to enjoy the day on the river and fish. i come out to fish and see these guys with their poles and the water and i say what in the fuck de think you are doing, he screams. he explodes in laughter at the expressive language and he looks at them and screams they know, they were there. and the one man says to me it's okay. at this point he shifts his feet and gathers more steam in the storytelling. i said mike is a fucking asshole and we have two choices, my gun
shooting your the state trooper arresting you. i asked what they did. they left, fast. these guys come and sign a piece of paper that doesn't allow them to fish in our rivers, hunt on our land and here they are drinking beer and watching the poll juggle a band down at our fish. if i was on their property would replace the licht and they saw a native man walking on their land, they would call the cops, right? well, what i see is a white man that works for the mind that isn't supposed fish the waters, so get the hell out from all the way of peter not 8:00 i tell them i have to return for the night. we shake hands. i wonder what would you have done if i said i was in favor of a pebble, i asked playfully. i would have shot you in the ass with my shotgun, he screamed with a burst of laughter and his voice with his eyes. we were in hysterics of the thought of me being shot in the ass on the side of the river at the alaskan bush. it seemed funny at the time. there's a little background there that it's a side thing, but when people that were at
pebble have to sign a piece of paper that says they cannot in any single way disturb anything of subsistence living. it can't fish, hunt, swim in the water, they can't do anything. so when they are fishing is a crime in terms of the agreements that are made and that is why he was talking about that. do you have any questions? >> or fonts'? >> if so, could you wait for the microphone? forgot, sorry. my fault. book tv commesso have your moment. i don't know if anybody has a question. but if you do i will just keep talking until you do. i was asked this morning on tv show what i learn in this
process. a couple things i learned, one is i didn't want to live in a mining town and number two, i can't deutsch about it too loud because we are using copper all the time. it's in the camera, the lights come it's not in the walls it is actually in those along the walls. it's in your home, it's in your car, the airplane you're going to fly on, the computer, the iphone utech each day, it's everywhere. it's everywhere. it's impossible to get away. if we get rid of copper in any significant way in this society we will drop immediately back to the 1850's at best. so it's not going to happen. i discovered that it's very tricky especially when you put it in terms of environmentalism. there is a balance here which is we have to have copper and these mining towns that are utterly destructive mines but we have to have more control over where they are and how they are done.
the pebble - is important because it basically answers a very serious question for the next 100 years we are going to be dealing with which is we will get into more trouble with things like water and food with 9 billion people on earth because they are dry or societies we have to make choices about which ones we want is a resource of the food for the world yet it is on a really big deposits to read the answer of course is fish but it is a battle that is put in place in this book and it also is put in place and how i think about this topic because i can't moan and groan about bisbee minute is a mining town. i just haven't to live there when i was a lovely and artistic town but they might not ever open the mine again, they might not, but the fact is they might.
>> do you still live there? do you still live in that town? >> no, i moved. >> how long ago? >> a year ago. i moved to flagstaff arizona. i loved bisbee. you know we have a lot of friends there and we are tied to the community, and you know, they might not mind and there is a lot to live there in the future but if they do open up i think it is a real problem. yes? >> so, what i am wondering in your research is if we can find a way to actually clampdown on the heavy metal and things here because it hits the bottom line they would just move to third world countries that don't have those in place and kind of just passing the problems along to other areas in the world. >> good question were good statement, what ever that is. that's already happening.
here is the deal we could be talking about coal or any resource. it's only found on certain places in the world and so wherever that is that is where they are going to be. the biggest copper built in the world as chile. after that is basically southern arizona. mongolia is really big. where else. mexico. so, they aren't aware that copper is. right now, for instance, if you were to ask me where is the worst mine, the worst example of the mine in operation in the world come is in indonesia in the west new guinea. it's owned by the people that own bisbee. now you know, they run the mine and they will come in and play pool and they are nice guys. i think it was chris hedges that said the people that are destroying the world are just doing a job.
they are nice people. in indonesia in this mine they are not just destroying the place, people are dying in this mine, they have hired the military to become the private service of the mine which is illegal by the way under the u.s. law. they were busted by the clinton administration, stripped of insurance, but they have henry kissinger on the door, so they got everything worked out. this has 18,000 people working at 15,000 feet. straight down through glacier. it's the biggest gold mine and basically the biggest cotton - the world. but, people are shocked. there's a huge battle going on because they're putting 300,000 tons of waste every single day in the two rivers without, like in america you can't do that. but there you just play with on and it doesn't matter. so, what you are asking is to be pushed off and if you do you push it puts a to china who doesn't care.
yeah it's much worse. at the bottom line is america is actually good about mining in terms of world standards we have the highest standards really of safety the you are talking about huge amounts of toxic metals that they admittedly don't know how to control. it is in the they don't want to be and i do not think they are evil by nature they just don't know how to do at. in arizona may be one person dies a year. that's ridiculous. that's nothing. more people die at barnes and noble or something. so, i'm not worried about like to see factor. in other countries it is much higher. they don't have the standards and basic the mining companies are like any corporation. whatever the rules are in that country they are going to go to the lowest common denominator if they can get away with it the well. the company that owns the mine in my town is a huge offender
around the world. they play nice here they are not very nice around the world. which is what i think that you were asking. i talked to my executives that basically use the argument which is if you push this off to china biblical 5,000 a year for the same. t want that or do you want us to do that and they use that argument. wait for the microphone. >> i have a question about your title boom bust boom. is that about the copper market or speculator is or what is that about? >> in general terms about every market but it's more of the communities. the way that it works specifically in the copper mining communities of the last is when a copper mining company comes in and they know there's minerals so they've done their research and in their minds they have a plan they are going to do
all the goodies come out. every charity, every local race, everything it needs, whatever it is, they do. they just pour money into that place to build the good relations and that continues. the mine opens and people push through for a generation. a lot of money than any of your town around eight. but when they go bust, when the ore isn't so good, they are gone and mike weeks they are out of there so what ever you are doing with your kids in college or whenever your life was in that town, the rug is gone and you are just flat. that happened in 1975, they left. people were in desperation to leave. houses were being sold for $500. i know a guy that about $20 at
$5,000. it almost disappeared, bisbee but it was that time in america where vietnam, people wanted to go to a place the was kind of off the map so it kind of found its niche. the boom is because the copper that we are talking about never goes away. there will be copper in bisbee for ever. it's a cost market equation whether they want to go dig deeper, wider, with over the situation is. and the technology of copper mining is getting better so they can - 312 in bisbee. it gets bad but they knew had to do it in a way that saves them money so it is a constant cycle of boom and bust boom and it is even more pronounced if you go to the mining towns meaning the company towns. and in arizona we have company towns. it's rare to find a company in the united states anymore where they have everything, schools,
the bar, hotels, the supermarket, the barbershop so every single person in the town is paid by the line. that is true in the biggest one in the united states is in arizona. it's a company town. and it's a very depressing place to go. maybe about 700,000 tons of copper a year so its huge. i don't know if you noticed the design, but they did a great job. any of your questions? what's that? >> [inaudible] >> yeah, exactly. that's right. so, any other questions? >> i find it really fascinating what you said about the fact they just don't know how to control the fact that they are polluting. do you speak about that in the book at all? is there any attempt technology
why is to try to control that or is it just -- >> the history has been this, they find it and they go for it. dig the hell out of it, let's go until let's say the last 15 years the idea was to give out, leave the pile and move on to the next place. but you have in america is an endless catch up game on the sites that you all know of, they are catching up to all of those trying to understand how to contain that. but even the new mines, they don't know how because here is the problem. think about it like i don't know if you ever -- i don't know how old everybody is, but you'll probably salles x files. okay, there was a great episode where there was redwood trees and they cut down a bunch of the redwood trees but when they did, what they realized his when they cut it down it cannot like an
alien that killed people and attacked people, when you dig up the earth like this it's a bit like that. what is underneath this fine right there. it's working the process out but it's attached to things like uranium, our sec, a lot of cancer agents are in there and when they bring it up, the copper isn't the problem. the copper is really not actually the problem. it's getting it away from the other metals and the other rock and what happens is that goes into a big pile and they just let it sit there. but it's the size of a mountain and when the rain and air hit, it basically exposes the metals in a faster way than it is supposed to happen to be if you dig a hole in your backyard you are not going to have this
problem and when you dig this city about of the earth, you know, the size of the city and begin around and you have an enormous amount of our being hit by rain and leading off and that's called acid mining runoff and that is the problem. the problem is a mountain. how do you -- let's say you can contain a around it. it's when to go down into the aquifer unless you put something they don't know how to make which is like a giant t.a.r.p. for instance. they don't know how to do that. it's too big. so the only solution is in the only solution they are going to do, to put it back in the hole. it takes 25 years to get this mountain made. they are not good spent 25 years for free putting it back in the hole. so you basically have this huge mountain, they have about nine of them where they are just sitting there, they've been sitting there for 50, 70 years leeching off a lot of the heavy
metals. the way to solve it, the only answer they have is to do what is called the cap and they put a two to five to 7 feet topsoil on because if you can stop it from catching basically a year or water it stops eroding. and they did that. they finished the pile like last month. the problem is there is a 30-mile plume headed into the aquifer her that they cannot stop. they've been digging deep wells ahead of it for years to try to slow it down but basically it is going to reach the aquifer and there is no way to stop it. so, even at the best mind that you can build, they don't know how to stop it which is why it is insane. it's built on tundra. it's basically like walking into the waters plunge. they've run into that lake in a matter of years, weeks or months. yes? >> and the more global level you are talking about some of the
parks and things they are trying to rehabilitate. what are some of the things that they are able to to make bisbee a more liberal place or how could they fix it to where you could have a garden again? or is it possible? >> they did, they came and they took all of my soil out to two feet and three landscaped it. we have kids they put us in another home and they pay for all of that for a while so they've done that to all the places. so you can technically plant your garden now. so they have done their due diligence in the homes and the school yards, but that doesn't take care of the massive tailing piles that are around. nope. like i said in this book most of the problems that exist in people's yards came from them trucking in the dirt because there is no active mine and it
is above the mine come sophie -- it isn't directly coming into the guard. nothing is happening right now. the aquifer is below the mine which is where we get the water. so that is going to be that forever. but in terms of what you're asking about the yard, having the metal falling in there, no, there is no smelter. there's only one big a smelter left in the united states and it is in arizona because they are so hideous that basically we can't afford them to the rest of the world in india is deutsch, is massive, japan, korea, chile, the biggest producer of copper in the world will not smelter copper on their home soil. the export every ounce of copper and copper concentrate on ships to try not to let them do it and it's killing china, which by the way, they are exporting all of theirs to africa. and so they are building
smelters in africa so they can export their pollution essentially to africa. it's ironic. china we all know is the biggest consumer. they take about 40% of the world's copper building products for the rest of the world. car breaks, they make everything they are also bizarrely enough the forefront of creating the new technology because they know that they are suffocating in their cities from this problem, so you know, it's weird, the kind of massive polluters they're trying to get the technology to solve the problem way more than we are. and then of course the problem on the side of that is the green technology has run heavily on copper and there's the irony. we might get ourselves in green technology to get rid of the effect is a really good idea and probably more important but to do that we are going to need an enormous amount of copper and in those big farms you see i know there in the west. i don't know if you have them
here although they are in massachusetts . every one of them is 8,000 pounds of copper. hundreds of miles of copper to generate some of the electricity bill from the wind fell to the power source because you have to get it somewhere and hold it. that's copper conaway more than coal, the carbon based energy source is used we more. so, it's kind of, you know, there is a peacekeeping one of these evils. it's just that it personally you try to get rid of the problem and i think it is a bigger problem, and then it goes back to making sure they're somehow done in a better way and pick and choose where you put them. one thing we haven't talked about a very frustrating thing that i learned in this book is that there is no stopping mining
the state's road along 1972 the general mining law act that basically was like the homestead act that said get people out west and what they said is you pay $5 an acre on the the federal land and you can mind. right now the companies making billions of dollars are paying $5 an acre to the united states. they are making billions. worse than that there is no royalty. if you mine for oil and gas in this country pay eight to 10% copper, nothing. worse than that the way that it's written we have no ability to say no. nothing so we can't stop it even if we want to i must change it and we can't because congress has enough people from the west and various power sources that want to keep it in place it's really frustrating. that isn't true on the state plan by talking about federal land.
so, that should just picks you off. yes. >> i went way out of bounds on my questions. there you go. >> anything else? s jim harrison once told me about another book of mine which was a pretty heavy topic he held it up and was very crowded of course for him, not me, and he said -- he pointed to my book and he said this is about sex and losing weight so that's what this is about. [laughter]
>> book tv is on location in las vegas at the annual freedom fest conference and we are interviewing several different authors and we are pleased to be joined now by the vice presidential nominee for the libertarian party for the vice president of the united states, judge james gray who is also an author and his book is called why are the drug laws field, and what can we do about it. if we could fill, start with your background. tell us your background. >> i was in the ucla, and then i was in the peace corps for two years and post rica and by the way the vice presidential nominee for the libertarian party. i would be the first peace corps volunteer effort to be elected to the national office and that is kind of pleasing. after that i went to the usc law school and was being drafted so i joined the naval rotc and then was a navy attorney for four years and -- >> was that during vietnam?
>> it was during vietnam, that's why i was being drafted actually. within a week of going to the peace corps i received my 18 classification for notice of physical, so guess what i and future had in store for me. after i got out of the navy i was a federal prosecutor in los angeles, u.s. attorney's office. prosecutor standard cases, bank robberies, drug cases, didn't think about it much. in the the petting a unit prosecuting fraud against the government, fha, va, that sort of thing. after that was in the private practice of law, business litigation for five years of appointed to the bench, so i was on the bench for 25 years as a judge and now i'm retired and i'm running, as you say, for office. >> what court were you a judge? >> superior court in orange county california, or the state court and over 25 years, pretty much did everything. and as a part of that, you know, and to see turning low-level drug offenders through the system for no good purpose, and eventually in fact it didn't take too long i saw that what we are doing simply isn't working. in fact, the tougher we get on
drug crime the softer we get with regards to the prosecution of everything else so robbers, rapists, murderers were able to a state and a lot less accountability because we are spending all of these efforts on the prosecution of the nonviolent drug offenses and it just doesn't work. >> host: >> so what was your attitude towards the drug lawbreakers' i guess? >> guest: >> welcome you know you must have held the wall and i told my to protect and defend the constitution as well as the state law. that doesn't mean i have to do it privately or quietly. so, i would do that, you can't use gave drug cases. a juvenile cases they include, but probate, you can't be scared them. but nevertheless, i was able -- i kind of see myself as a bearded agitator in disguise in effect because what we are doing here isn't working and we simply have to put our head together and change it. we couldn't do it worse if we tried, and we asked mexico for example, that's 60,000 people died of violence in the last
five or six years because of president tauter roane's war on drugs. and it has nothing to do with drugs. it has everything to do with drug money and it's our drug money that is causing those deaths and corruption and a respect for the law. stat was there any particular drug case that kind of crystallized you're thinking? >> they're kind of was also was building up. i still remember that i was carrying out another judge sentence, and we had a really bad guy that was charged with and was pleading to going out with prostitutes, beating them up, rating them es stealing their money. by the time of the dust settled and he had credit for time served he only had two weeks in jail before he would be released and when he was taken back to the lockup he said if he had one and i remember thinking to myself to he house because we are so involved in drug cases using our resources for that, but the really bad guys are a skating, so i realize that the tougher you get on a nonviolent drug offenses the softer you get
with regards to the prosecution of everything else. i'm going to do something about it and i have. >> what have you done? >> i talked about this publicly. as publicly as i can. i've been on the o'reilly factor goebel via the special order of seven or 800 various media events. i've written a book about it and actually was on book tv about ten years ago when it came out in 2001. now we is updated at the beginning of this year, 2012, back on book tv talking about this issue among others. >> here's the cover of the second edition. specifically what are one or two things on the u.s. drug laws or the state drug law that you would change immediately? >> the answer is hold people accountable for what they do and not with the patent their bodies. the criminal justice system is very able to for example if i drive a motor vehicle under the influence that is a crime and should be. why? because by my actions i am putting your safety at risk but as far as putting people in jail for what they choose to put into
their bodies, number one it doesn't work and i'm a libertarian, too and i'm proud of that and most people are. the government has as much right to control what you and i as adults put into our bodies as it does what i put into my mind. it is none of their business. so it doesn't work and you are actually still contributing to problems 90% of our so-called drug problems today are drug prohibition problems that isn't to minimize the drug harm themselves, but the huge amount or drug prohibition problems just like they had with alcohol prohibition. the fact jen problem for the example, the quality control went away when we appeal of the alcohol prohibition. al capone was no longer involved in selling drugs. today you do not find children selling drugs -- excuse me, selling alcohol in their campuses with their selling marijuana, ecstasy or whatever all the time. why? because drug prohibition. we are corrupting our children by the perpetuation of this true the failed policy. >> okay.
arguments against it include children shouldn't be taking ecstasy cortines shouldn't be taking ecstasy. >> i agree. >> heroin addiction, marijuana and uses the same as alcohol. should marijuana be treated the same as alcohol? >> yes and in addition colorado now governor johnson and i and the campaign have endorsed the same thing in the state of washington. one that talks about this. thank you for this other as well. but sure, you know, again the drugs are here to stay, so i agree that children shouldn't be doing this but ask your children today what is easier for you to get, marijuana or alcohol it's easier for us to get marijuana. why because the dealers don't ask for i.t., so today think about it, the good of the biggest oxymoron of our lives today is the term controlled substances let's cripple the
gangs by the provision, merrill regulate marijuana is the place to start. >> would you have marijuana etc sold in retail stores? >> yes, just treated like wine and that is the answer for most. >> can you grow your own? >> you can treat it that way for the responsible adults, yes and tax it. wouldn't it be better to have these huge amounts of money go to pay the firefighters and teachers fix our roads instead of funding of the juvenile gangs and the mexican drug cartels? it is an easy question to answer. >> to of the people you dedicate this to our job shultz and the elite william f. buckley.
i'm proud to be, and in fact you can go on to say this is endorsed by milton friedman has a hero of mine, and also of course walter cronkite who is a hero in a lot of other ways and george shultz, like to say, the former secretary of state for ronald reagan, no-man's liberal but you get those folks together to agree on anything and it's pretty impressive. >> you also have another book out and this is another new one? what is this one? >> it is a handbook of solutions to america's problems and there really are resolutions to these problems. and honestly i wrote this without having any intentions or thoughts of being involved in another political campaign. but it talks about health care, education, the policy of capital punishment, which regardless of your philosophy isn't working. getting into responsible criminal-justice issues and rehabilitation, that sort of thing. i even recommended going on the
metric system which is certainly something else and you said i'm running for vice president with governor gary johnson. it's amazing because she from a totally different perspective has come out to pretty much the same analysis that i have on all these important issues like education. today the talk you were wearing, and i like it by the way, deutsch shows how much to spend, where to go, what to buy. like all other consumer goods that is how we get reasonable bids for reasonable prices that education is completely different than that. it is funded from the top up so the federal government thinks of this money keeps a bunch of it and gives it to the state and keep a bunch of it for their administrative costs and give it to the school districts, give it to the schools, the use a lot of administrative costs and then it goes to the teacher. well it isn't working. today our schools are failing our children. so if you allow it to be funded from the bottom-up like your tie your shoes or anything else, that gives parents the ability to decide where and how their children should be educated.